Dream Theater have been at the top of the game for such a long time …
New Zealand’s frenzied metalcore bruisers Antagonist A.D. returned to the fray recently with a pair of teaser singles and they’re throwing down with their upcoming 7” EP, Through Fire, which vocalist Sam Crocker describes simply: “This is catharsis.”
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Antagonist A.D. exist in that octagon where hardcore and melodic death metal meet, nodding deftly to the murderous anarcho-metal of The Haunted and eyeballing AlphaWolf with back-alley aggression. Opener Gates of Hell burns with triplet-laden riffing, tight rhythms, and nasty-as-you-like vocals which push this release beyond the usual metalcore comforts into riot music.
Pure Fear is a tried-and-true mosh formula, and you can practically taste the sweat that went into it, thanks in no small part to the fierce production talents of Kurt Ballou (Converge). The tactile production enables the more experimental Bloom, showing off some jagged orchestration and a vocal approach that feels somewhat alien.
This is street music. This is concrete-hard and savvy. This is what bitumen sounds like when it has an agenda.
The formidable A.P.M.D comes swinging hard and is an aggressive highlight to the EP. The high-speed D-beat intro leads through some tough, marching guitars and ends on a violently moshable “circle-pit-goes-here”-riff. Closer No Justice comes with breakbeat speed and bad-guy intensity. There is a defiantly street-level hardcore heart glowing on this one and the payoff is something that will sound familiar to old-school punk hoodlums and modern metalcore knuckledusters alike.
Antagonist A.D. have been a source of quality hardcore tunes for some years now, but they continue to grow with each new album cycle and with this, the first in a series upcoming vinyl releases, they have established a new standard of heaviness and creativity. It’s not groundbreakingly clever, but what it does it does hard. This is street music. This is concrete-hard and savvy. This is what bitumen sounds like when it has an agenda.
STICK THIS NEXT TO: The Haunted, Converge, Alpha Wolf
STANDOUT TRACKS: Gates of Hell, A.P.M.D, No Justice